Jun 2, 2015

Chicken stir fry with Yellow Capsicum


A simple rice dish paired with a semi-gravy, almost stir-fry like dish is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a quick weeknight meal. I cook mostly vegetarians side dishes at home to pair along with rice on weekdays and try to limit eating non-veg to weekends but Manish and my little boy are chicken and fish lovers. Manish feels if he eats only veg meals two days in a row then he's on a diet :-P I donno how lil'Appu feels but he ceratinly doesn't eat his food as fast as how he does when he is served fish or chicken :-)

Anyways this dish was one of my quick experiments on a weeknight when I felt it would be good have some chicken and also make use of the lone Yellow Capsicum that got lost in the wee corners of the vegetable tray in my fridge :-) The dish pairs very well with simple Jeera Rice or plain white Basmati rice.


It's an Indianized stir fry, no soy sauce or ketchup or deep frying the chicken. I just used our regular masalas and cooked the dish without extra water and added the capsicum at the end after turning off the heat. The capsicum cooks slightly with the heat from the dish but still stays crunchy.  

It was the first time I'm trying a yellow capsicum, I've only tried the regular Green and Red variety. I must say I really liked the flavor of the capsicum which was slightly sweet yet not too overpowering. And not to mention the beautiful color it adds to the dish.



I used boneless and skinless Chicken thigh meat cut into small cubes. They cook quickly and stays soft and juicy once cooked. No extra water is added for the gravy. The dish is mildly spiced and is not overly spicy so it was perfect even for my 3½ year old to chomp down with the flavorful rice. 

Chicken stir fry with Yellow Capsicum

You’ll Need
2 or 3 Boneless skinless Chicken Thigh meat (cut into small cubes)
1 Large Red Onion , cut into large squares
1 Roma Tomato, cut into cubes
1 Tablespoon fresh Ginger –Garlic paste
2-3 Green chillies, slit lenghtwise
1 Yellow Capsicum , cut into cubes
½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
2 teaspoons Corriander powder
1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Handful of Corriander leaves , for garnish
For tempering
1 Tablespoon Oil (I use Oilve oil)
1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
2 Dry Red chillies
1 sprig Curry leaves

Directions
1.In a large pan, heat the oil and crack the mustard seeds. Then add the fennel seeds. Finally add the dry red chillies and curry leaves.
2. Add the ginger-garlic paste, red onions and green chillies and saute for 2 minutes.
3. Then add the spice powders : turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala. Roast the masala spices and then add cubed tomato. 
4. Finally add in the cubed chicken pieces, give everything a stir, add enough salt, cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium-low heat until chicken is fully cooked through.
3. Once the chicken is cooked, take off the lid and cook on medium heat until gravy thickens. Once desired gravy consistency is achieved add the yellow capsicum, give it a good stir and turn off the heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Rice ( I served it with spiced Jeera rice)


-Manju 

Apr 8, 2015

Lemon Cake with Mango Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream Frosting


Spring is round the corner…yes, very much. Yellow and white are one of my all-time favorite color combinations and I had set my mind on a Lemon cake for Manish’s b’day. He too enjoys fruity flavors more than plain chocolate or vanilla. The final décor of the cake was a last minute on-the-go decision. I had tons of ideas in mind, but did not want a very time taking decorating process nor do something I’ve already done. 


Very recently I had seen a video shared by someone on a facebook group about how to get smooth ombre layers using buttercream and it looked quite easy and I wanted to give that a try. Another thing I wanted to try were buttercream flowers. 

You might have already seen my buttercream roses, so this time I decided to go for sunflowers, which was quite easy to pipe and have a lovely orangish yellow color. I initially thought of just doing sunflowers, but wanted a little extra color on the cake and did some quick roses and leaves for a final touch and to add freshness and a spring garden like appearance.



I love this view of the cake, where you can easily see the sunflowers, roses and leaves and also see the three ombre shaded colors cascading from orangish yellow to lemon yellow to white. Even my cakeboard is a flowery shape which was coincidental btw...


In this post I’m doing a simple tutorial with whatever pictures I was able to capture while I torted, filled, frosted and decorated Manish’s Spring themed Birthday Cake. And I’m also sharing the recipe for the Lemon cake, simple lemon syrup, mango curd filling and lemon buttercream. I apologize in advance if the post is too long, but I've tried making it as informative as possible.

First let's get to the recipe. I know it sounds like a lot of work...well, hell ya it was. But so worth the effort and a completely new flavor that you might enjoy. Give it a try for a special occasion. 

Lemon Cake with Mango Curd Filling and Lemon Buttercream

Lemon Cake recipe
Recipe Source: Ina Garten

You'll Need
For Lemon cake
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon LorAnns Lemon Oil (optional)

For simple Lemon Syrup
½ cup Granulated Sugar
½ cup Lemon Juice

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8"x2" round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper as well.
2. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, vanilla and lemon flavored oil (optional). 
4. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
5. Prepare the lemon syrup by combining ½ cup granulated sugar with ½ cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
6. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan. Allow the cakes to cool completely or refrigerate for few hours. Torte the cakes and brush or spoon the lemon syrup over the cake layers evenly.


Mango Curd recipe
Recipe Source: Adpated from Epicurious
Makes 1 to 1½ cups

You'll Need
1 cup canned mango pulp or One 15-ounce ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ cup sugar
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup ( ½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions
1. Puree fresh mango or Mango Pulp, Sugar, Lemon juice and salt in processor/mixer grinder, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally.
2. Add in the egg yolks, puree 15 seconds longer. Strain through sieve set over large glass bowl (like Pyrex), pressing on solids with back of spatula to release as much puree as possible. Discard solids in sieve.
3. Set the glass bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk puree until thickened and a thermometer registers 170°F, about 10 minutes (I cooked almost 15-20 mins to be safe as I had no thermometer). 
Remove from over water.  The curd should be thick and should coat the back of a spoon…that’s the desired consistency.  Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Lemon Buttcream Recipe
I bought some LorAnn’s Lemon flavored oil in clearance at Michaels. 
Pic courtesy: Google Images
It was amazing and I highly recommend these flavoring oils for any baking or candy making projects and there are all kinds of flavors available. They impart immense flavor even with the usage of a small quantity. I loved using them in to flavor my cake and buttcream with a fruity lemon flavor.

I made a double batch of below recipe. The lemon flavor is mild and not overpowering.

You’ll need
Unsalted Butter , at room temp – 1 cup (that’s  2sticks or ½ pound)
Powdered sugar or Confectioners’ sugar (sifted) – 3 or 4 cups
Pure Vanilla Extract – 1 tblsp
Lorann’s Lemon flavored Oil – ½ teaspoon
Milk or heavy cream – 4 tblsp or as needed
Salt – a pinch (optional)

Directions
1.Beat butter until smooth and creamy using a paddle attachment on medium speed if using KitchenAid mixer or using electric hand blender.
2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar , little at a time on low speed, until it mixes well with the butter.
3. Increase the speed to medium and add Vanilla extract lemon oil, salt (if using) and 4 tblsp of milk/heavy cream. Combine well for few minutes until smooth and creamy.
(If you want a thicker frosting add remaining 1 cup sugar. If you want a thinner consistency add more milk 1 tblsp at a time )


Now lets see how this all came up. I'm sharing how I generally fill, crumb coat and some basics of how I went about decorating this cake (these steps can be followed for any cake you make frosted with buttercream, ofcource decorations styles and techniques might vary). I couldn't take a lot of pics while doing the whole process, so pls bear with me. I hope this helps :-)

Assembling and decorating a layer Cake

Things to do atleast 1 day ahead:
1.  Bake two 8”x2” Lemon cakes.  
2.  Prepare simple Lemon syrup.
3.  Prepare Mango Curd Filling. If using whipped cream also for filling, prepare that as well and keep both fillings refrigerated. (prepare whipped cream just before actually filling the cake)
4.  Make lemon flavored vanilla buttercream. (if refrigerating, bring it to room temperature before using)

After the cakes have completely cooled, I torte them (slice each cake in half) using a serrated knife. I prefer to refrigerate my cakes before doing this, so that they are cold enough and will reduce any crumbling of cake while cutting.
Place the cakes on a plate/tray with cut side up and using a pastry brush,  evenly brush the lemon syrup over the cake. It will be absorbed by the cake and helps keep the cake moist with added lemon flavor.

Place one layer of cake on a cake board and create a dam with buttercream. (I had plenty of leftover chocolate buttercream from an earlier cake, so used that ) Add enough mango curd filling to cover the cake, making sure it doesn’t spill out of the buttercream dam.


I added a little whipped cream on top of the mango curd filling to offset the tartness but it’s entirely your choice.


Stack the cake layers on top of each other and repeat the process above. Make sure the top layer of the cake is flat. Let this sit in refrigerator for 10 mins.


Now take your buttercream and fill it in the gaps between each layer.  Fill it in and make it as smooth as possible. This is how I do my crumb coat. Again refrigerate for 5 -10mins.

                     
Next I shaded my lemon buttercream in two different shades of yellow and left the rest white.  I started with using my small offset spatula and applied a 1” high coating of the darkest yellow buttercream (this is lemon yellow + orange gel color mixed to get a sunflower yellow). Next I added a layer with the lighter shade of yellow and finished on top with white colored buttercream.

Use a bench scraper dipped in hot water, wipe away the water and gently smooth around the sides of the cake, making the three layers of color blend together. Repeat the process until the sides are very smooth. You may have to add/remove excess buttercream during this process….it’s does take some time, but its very rewarding in the end. Similarly smoothen the top of the cake with buttercream as well and slowly it starts to look like this :)


Finally I piped Sunflowers, Roses and some leaves on top of the cake for my Spring themed cake.
The sunflower centers were chocolate buttercream.
The Sunflower petals were piped with Wilton tip # 366 . 
The Roses were piped with Wilton tip # 104 . 
The leaves were piped with Wilton tip # 366
For a final touch I made a simple fondant ribbon and wrote 'Happy Birthday Manish!!!' and placed it on the cake board.


The pretty cake slice will look like this...yummmm...yummm! 



So there you are. Next time if possible I'll get Manish to take some pics of me while I'm piping the flowers or making smooth sides on the cake...its just dififcult to multi-task when my hands are full of buttercream...Lol!

See you all soon and have a lovely time.

-Manju


Apr 1, 2015

A Spring B'day for my buddy!


It's a beautiful day today. Yes, a lovely 78F as I write this, no not fooling ya (as it's April Fool's day too today) and I'm just so blogging happy about that :-) We went for a lovely walk in the evening and Appu happily exclaimed "Mummy, you are not wearing jacket!!" I just love days like this and can't wait for more jacketless days.
I just took an unexpected break from blogging the entire past month for no particular reason, but I have to say the extra 'me' time felt very good....March flew by in a blink and trust me so will April.

As always March 29th turned out be a a very special and beautiful day, hubby darling turned a year older and it's been 3 glorious years in our lovely home. I baked and decorated a spring themed cake for hubby dear and planned for a fun potluck with our closest friends.
Climate-wise it was a bit cold so couldn't plan any outdoor activities, so we enjoyed indoors with the warm company of our friends, awesome food, wine and a fruity colorful cake.


Spring is round the corner and I'm jolly excited about it. I have always wanted to try making a Spring themed cake with some new buttercream decorating techniques and also try my hand at baking a citrusy Lemon cake for so long and Manish's b'day seemed a perfect occasion to try that out. Another thing I've wanted to try was fruit curd.....so ta-da, all in one....Lemon Cake with a tangy-sweet Mango curd filling and Yellow ombre buttercream sides with sunflowers and roses to symbolize the beginning of colorful Spring.
As the cake turned out too flowery for a guy I promised Manish a 'man-ish' cake next year...like a burger cake or beer cake or something non-flowery :-P :-P

I'll share an entire detailed post of the cake explaining how to make a layer cake, crumb-coating and of-course the recipe in my next blog post.....for today I'm just sharing these snaps.

The kids were having a blast in our basement and did not bother to come up for cake cutting! Appu sent his spiderman toy with a friend who went to call the kids saying spider-man represented him...oh well! :-) But we managed a quick pic after cake cutting while he came up to check what we were upto and ofcourse, for his share of cake...hehe!


The response for the cake flavor was mixed, some of our friends really enjoyed the refreshing citrus flavored cake, while others weren't a fan of it though they agreed that the cake was really good and they all loved the roses and sunflowers. Manish and I personally loved the cake flavor and even my colleagues enjoyed it when I took some to office but in all it was certainly a new flavor from the usual chocolate or vanilla flavors.

So more in my next blog post, which will be more fun with more cake pictures and detailed tutorial on how I made this cake with recipe et all....

-Manju 

Feb 25, 2015

Let it Go....a Frozen themed Queen Elsa Doll Cake


I’m super excited about the cake I’m sharing with you all today. I have always wanted to do a doll cake. When my friend’s friend asked me if I can help her with the cake for her daughter’s birthday, the only details she told me was it was going to be a Frozen Princess themed party. I heard ‘princess’ and ‘frozen theme’ and instantly suggested that it would be great to do a queen Elsa doll cake and even her daughter loved the idea.  

The day I bought the Queen Elsa doll,  I was super excited and trust me was tempted to play with it ;-) No wonder kids love barbie dolls and all such pretty dolls. They are just gorgeous!

When I think of the movie Frozen the scene that comes to my mind is when Queen Elsa sings ‘Let it Go’ and builds her beautiful snow castle. I wanted my Queen Elsa to be standing in that pose. 


It was love at first sight when I saw Ipoh Bakery's fashionista doll cakes. I was awed at the beauty of William’s creations and knew that if I ever got a chance at making  a doll cake then this would be it.  William himself was so kind and helped me with few questions I had before I started making the cake.

What makes this cake stand out from the usual doll cakes is that instead of the doll standing wearing her pretty princess gown which is like an inverted dome (this forms the cake), here the doll appears as if its walking forward pulling her beautiful skirt or cape forward. One of her legs are exposed giving it a stylish yet elegant touch and there’s movement and grace and looks so fashionable. The skirt/cape forming the cake.

The only challenge for me was carving the cake to form a smooth skirt that’s following Queen Elsa as she conjures up her Snow castle.  I’m not a fan of carving and wasting precious cake slices. So I made sure each and every carved cake piece was added to the skirt in the best way possible attached with buttercream, giving an overall smooth finish.


The doll is an actual Queen Elsa Doll, which is the only non-edible portion of the cake. The top of the skirt from where the edible portion of the cake starts was 5.5" tall and it extends to be almost 15" long.  


I baked my favorite White Velvet Cake and frosted and filled the cake with creamy Nutella Buttercream…yumm! Covered in homemade marshmallow fondant that I shaded Teal.  

After making the pleats of the skirt I added some final touches in the form of snowflakes and added some shine to the dress and snowflakes using luster dust. 

I left the cake board silver itself as I felt the color combo of Teal-White-Silver looked good for a Frozen theme. Eileen's name and age were placed on snowflakes shimmered with luster dust. I also placed snowflakes in Queen Elsa's palms to imitate the scene in the movie where she conjures snowflakes with her bare hands.


Little Eileen had a wonderful Frozen Princess themed party and my friend said that everyone was just mesmerized with the cake!  ;-) 

So what do you all think?....please do share you feedback. The pics were all taken at night as the party was during the day....waiting to see some pics from the party as well :-)

-Manju

Feb 16, 2015

Cocktail Idli Hearts with Coconut Chutney Shots | V-day special for Anokhi Media


Valentines Day is one of my favorite times of the year. I have always made it a point to celebrate it either by buying sweet and simple gifts for Manish and Appu, by making them some fun dishes and treats or taking a small weekend trip to some fun holiday spot...Kalahari indoor water-park at Wisconsin Dells being our most favorite! 
This year lil'Appu was also super excited about V-day as they were having a sweet party at school sharing goodie bags, cards and treats. He himself signed his name on 21 cards to gift to his pre-school mates and was uber excited about Valentines day!

Any day is a good excuse for me to make some fun sweet treats...V-day being no different. This year, instead of going the sweet treat route, I thought of trying a fun savory twist with our south-indian staple breakfast item....IDLI ;-) I have always loved the idea of cocktail idlis or mini idlis dusted with chutney powder or served with multiple chutneys etc. 

Keeping Valentines Day and everything lovey-dovey and red/pink colored in mind, I went off and made some spiced Beetroot idlis, steamed in heart shaped silicon molds and used shot glasses to serve the idlis with coconut chutney ;-) 



It was so much fun to make these and as soon as I was done photographing them my lil'Appu ate up each and every single one of these red heart idlis!! He loved them...

This fun post is published at Anokhi Media so let's check out further details there, shall we? Hope you all had a fun and love filled Valentines Day!
http://anokhimedia.com/blog/valentines-recipe-cocktail-idli-hearts-with-coconut-chutney-shots


-Manju



Jan 28, 2015

Tomato Rice - a one pot meal!


There’s nothing as comforting as a one-pot meal on busy weekdays or on lazy weekends. Infact if I had it my entirely my way I would have only cooked one-pot meals all the time and be done with my cooking. But sometimes the husband doesn’t prefer that and wants his rice separate, curry and thoran and blah blah all separate…oh! well, thank god he isn’t very choosy and picky about his food, but there are certain things that he’d rather have the traditional way.

When I say one-pot, I mean just that, from start to finish the entire dish is cooked in just one single pan and well if your pan is fancy enough just serve it right out of that ;-)


2 years ago, the beautiful summer of 2013 we had a lovely and flourishing vegetable garden that my wonderful dad grew in our backyard  and we had a bounty full of vegetables for almost an entire year. Tomatoes grew like wild fire and we had so much that we had to infact give away so many bags of tomatoes to our neighbors and friends. We ate the juicy red fruit raw in salads, made pickles, chutneys , masala curries and even froze a whole lot and still we had plenty more.


This Tomato rice was one of the many dishes we made with our organic Tomatoes. And yes, these pics were taken 2 yrs ago when I made this dish with our garden bounty but I still make it exactly like this with any tomato whenever we are in the mood for some tomato rice.


Spicy Tomato Rice

You’ll Need
3 cups Basmati Rice
5 ½ cups water
6-7 large Red Tomatoes, chopped
1 large Red Onion, chopped finely
4 Green Chillies, slit lengthwise
1 Tablespoon Ginger-garlic paste
For tempering
Whole spices – 2 cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 4 black pepper, 1  star anise, 1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Tablespoons whole Peanuts
1 tesapoon Cumin Seeds
3 Dry Red chillies
8-10 Curry leaves
Spices used
½  teaspoon Turmeric powder
2 teaspoons Kashmiri Chilli powder / regular Red chilli powder
1  teaspoon Garam Masala powder
A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida powder)
Salt – to taste
2 teaspoons chopped Coriander leaves for garnish 
1 teaspoon chopped Mint leaves for garnish 

Directions:
1. In a large pan, heat oil and add the whole spices, roast until fragrant. Add the peanuts and roast until they turn slightly brown. Then add Cumin seeds, Dry red chillies and curry leaves.
2. Add the Ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add chopped red onions and green chillies. Add a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions turn soft and pink.
3. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and hing and mix well. Then add in the chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft. Do not over cook.
4. Finally add the Basmati rice, mix it well with the tomato- masala mix and then add water. Cook until the rice is cooked through. Garnish with some fresh coriander and mint leaves on top and serve hot.


This dish is definitely a one-pot meal and it's spicy, tangy and just wonderful. Just serve it with some cucumber raita and pappad and you’re done. Oh! Btw, we had it with chutta pappadam (not fried ones)…I love chutta pappadam, just place the dried pappadam over a flame until it bubbles and curls up a bit. Don’t make it too charred though… :-)

-Manju

Jan 25, 2015

Goan Shrimp Curry....a recipe feature for Anokhi Media


Who doesn't enjoy a good plate of rice with some warm and mildly spiced seafood dish. My family just loves seafood. It's always on our weekend special menu ;-) Our most favorite ones are those cooked with some coconut based gravy. It turns out creamy, not overly spicy, mildly tangy and just perfect with some rice.
I had prepared this Shrimp curry a while ago and for some reason it was left in my drafts.

Anokhi Media is a popular South-Asian online magazine and I was so honored when they asked me to write for them. I did not think twice about which recipe to share with the magazine and they were more than happy to share this awesome Goan Shrimp Curry on their site.

So dear readers, please do stop by Anokhi Media for the Recipe. See you all again soon!

-Manju 

Jan 15, 2015

Jungle Animals themed Cake


I'm so excited to share my first cake this New Year....a super fun, extremely cute and bright Jungle Animals themed tiered cake. Ridhaan's mom is my very good friend and she had asked me to do his birthday cake many months before. Although I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it (due to some other matters) I finally decided to go ahead. Her only request was for a Mango Mousse filling and some animals to go on the cake to match with the Animal themed birthday party she had in mine. Rest all was left to me and sky was the limit....

I'm proud of this cake for several reasons.
(a) This is my first non-fondant tiered cake with a smooth fondant-like finish. It took a lot of time to get the sides smooth and edges straight but it was worth it. There were some imperfections but let's say I decorated over them...hehe :-P These are very important factors in the word of beautiful cakes so it mattered a lot to me as well and I'm glad it worked well.
(b) This was my first tiered cake with a creamy Mousse filling. Mousse fillings are generally very soft and people don't recommend them for tiered cakes or even for cakes that need to sit out for a long time. But I tried it and it worked fine. Maybe I should thank the freezing temperatures here in Minnesota for that!
(c) My first cake with actual sugar figurines that you can eat! :-D

The Cakes were Vanilla White Cake with creamy Mango Mousse Filling covered with color tinted Vanilla Buttercream with marshmallow fondant accents for decoration and figurines. 

Until now I've never really tried making edible figurines, except for the Clowns I made for Lil'Appu's 1st Birthday Cake. Usually I just keep a plastic toy topper or a themed candle topper and just decorate the rest of the cake. But this time I felt with the animal theme it would be great to have some cute looking animals on the cake, so I went ahead with making them.
I made a Giraffe, Zebra, Elephant and Lion. I wish I had made the giraffe neck longer, but other than that I was happy with the rest of the animal figurines. These were made almost a week in advance and they hardened perfectly. 


My son used to come back daily from daycare and go stare at the animals...he just loved them. He is so used to me making cakes for friends that he doesn't touch or disturb my 'cake stuff' and for some reason he thinks he can go for the party anyways and eat the cake and decorations there (which is usually true)...so after the cake is cut its a whole different story, he wants everything first ;-D 
He kept requesting that I make a Monkey as well and I told him we'll make one directly on the cake. I don't know if he understood, but he kept waiting for the monkey every single day :)

The Tree toppers were a last minute addition. After I placed the animals on the cake with the Lion on top I just felt it needed something more...I thought about placing a Sun, but then the colors of the Lion and sun would be almost same (yellow-orange) , so finally decided to place the same trees that I had placed around the cake. Well, you can call them Coconut trees although the leaves should have been longer ;-) It's all in the imagination....hehe! If you notice I even gave small scale like texture to the stem of the tree to give it a proper 3D tree look. I decorated the cake board with chocolate buttercream to give it a muddy ground like appearance and it looked pretty good.

Then there were vines, some grass, more leaves, coconut trees and flowers to complete the overall look of the cake. I wanted the Monkey to be hanging from the tail on a vine and that's how I did it.


My fun animals :)


My friend had already bought the candle that would go on the cake so we placed that at the venue. Here are some pics of the beautiful Cake Table and cake cutting :)





Here's how the cake slice looked like! It really was yumm if I may say so.....ahem!


I'm still waiting for some more pics that the photographer at the party had taken....I'm sure my friend is waiting for those more than me :-P 
The party was super fun, the decorations were perfect and colorful and the food was awesome and not to mention how lovely the cake was...hehe! 
Lil'Ridhaan happily ate up the sugar Elephant and lil'Appu went for the Lion, but I don't have pics of any of that...hopefully the photographer took some :)

Will share more fun cake stories in upcoming posts...until then take care and bye bye!

-Manju